One language sets you in a corridor to life. Two languages open every door along the way.
This wise quote may be one of the challenges, which inspires young people to learn even one foreign language, for instance English. Why English? There may be several reasons of it as following:
- English may not be the most spoken language in the world, but it is the official language in a large number of countries. It is estimated that the number of people in the world that use English to communicate on a regular basis is 2 billion!
- English is the dominant business language and it has become almost a necessity for people to speak English if they are to enter a global workforce, research from all over the world shows that cross-border business communication is most often conducted in English. Its importance in the global market place therefore cannot be understated, learning English really can change your life.
- Many of the world’s top films, books and music are published and produced in English. Therefore, by learning English you will have access to a great wealth of entertainment and will be able to have a greater cultural understanding.
- Most of the content produced on the internet (50 %) is in English. So knowing English will allow you access to an incredible amount of information that may not be otherwise available!
Although learning English can be challenging and time consuming, we can see that it is also very valuable to learn and can create many opportunities! That is why the English language is included in the curriculum of secondary and higher education program by our government. For this reason, the demand of learning English has been increasing day by day among people of any age. Of course, in teaching English one of the main aims is to teach students to communicate in this language.
In connection with the transition to communicative training the possibility of a foreign language in the solution of actual problems of modern society in educating younger generation and educational, developmental and educational potential of the subject «foreign language” has been increasing. Therefore, in order to meet this demand, we, teachers must pay attention to the structure of the lesson, its logic, tasks types and students’ and teachers’ organization which are the basics of authentic communication. Consequently, students’ activity, their position in the lessons not as an object of teaching but as well as the subject of learning activities is labialized. Communicative teaching is learner-centered method, which involves learners’ interests, their experience, their feeling and their world outlook in organizing communication during the lesson. In this case, teaching is not based on teaching certain topic or grammar rule on the contrary it is based on discussing social problems in learners’ life. Due to this method learners are able to discuss their deeds and actions, the current events in the life of class, school, group, University, city, country, planet, besides they learn to express their attitude to what is happening, to justify and defend their own opinions. One of the indispensable conditions of communicative teaching is the creation of a favorable psychological climate in the class that takes into account the emotional state of each learner. Actually, this type of education which is built on respect for the personality of each learner help open different sides of his personality, become free from many psychological barriers such as constraint, shyness and lack of self-confidence
All of this allow students not only to take a foreign language as a means of communication, but also contributes to the formation of socially significant qualities of the person. Communicative learning involves the process of organization training as a model of the communication process. EFL lessons are lessons of learning to communicate via communication. During the lessons students:
‒ learn the art of communication;
‒ master speech etiquette;
‒ learn to solve different communication problems;
‒ acquire strategy and tactics of the dialogue and group communication,
‒ learn to be speech partners.
As planned useful result, the following main types of speech activity should serve:
Training all kinds of speech activity must be carried out in close relationship, but should have differentiated approach to the formation of each of them. The latter is done using special exercises for the development of each type of speech activity corresponding to its specificity.
The entire organization of the educational process is to improve the quality of ownership of students the main types of speech activity — speaking another language, develop their ability to conduct foreign-language communication directly (orally) and indirectly (through the book).
In order to improve communication skills of the students the aim of the lesson should be as following:
‒ to develop verbal skills by varying speech situations constantly;
‒ in the process of performing tasks speech material should be memorized unconsciously;
‒ repetition of speech material is carried out thanks to its permanent inclusion in the topic of the lesson;
‒ exercises should provide a constant combination, transformation and paraphrasing of speech material;
‒ the content of teaching materials should be interesting for learners;
‒ constant novelty of all elements in the educational process is required;
The «foreign language» subject carries with it a foreign language culture. It is important to notice that the purpose of «mastering a foreign language culture» refers to the goal of «learning to communicate».A foreign culture as the goal of education has social, pedagogical and psychological content, which is related to all aspects of teaching and follows from the content of the subject «foreign language». However, in this generalized form, a foreign language culture cannot serve as the purpose of teaching because mastering it does not happen immediately, but it happens gradually. Therefore, in a foreign culture some of its most significant sections i. e. goals of component are distinguished at first then they are specified in teaching facilities. In each lesson, a certain number of objects of social, pedagogical and psychological content in foreign language culture should be mastered.
A foreign culture as a goal of teaching includes 4 aspects:
- The teaching aspect (actual social content of purpose).
It involves mastering all forms of communication and all speech functions. The specific objectives of each form of speech activity are:
a) speaking — ability to inform, explain, approve, condemn, prove and etc.;
b) writing — ability to record their statements quickly and other statements, to write from reading, transforming material, write a plan or theses of the speech;
c) reading — ability to read aloud a newspaper or magazine article quickly to meet all reading functions as a means of communication;
g) listening — ability to understand authentic speech in a normal pace in the live communication and general meaning (content) of radio programs and phonorecording;
d) translating — ability to act as an interpreter in the household situation.
2. Cognitive aspect
It lies in the fact that learning a foreign language culture is one of the means of enriching the spiritual world of the individual, i.e.:
a) as a knowledge acquisition means about the culture of the target language country;
b) as a knowledge acquisition means of the language structure, its system, characteristics, similarities and differences between the mother tongue;
c) as a satisfaction means of personal cognitive interests in any spheres of your activity that is, from professional one to hobby.
As a rule, a cognitive aspect is implemented on the basis of receptive activities such as listening and reading.
3. Educational aspects (educational content of the purpose).
This aspect is that learning a foreign language culture is used as a means of moral education.
- Developmental aspect (psychological content of the purpose).
The main objective of this aspect is to develop:
‒ speech skills (phonemic hearing, language sense, the ability to guess, simulation, a logical report and etc.).
‒ mental functions related to speech activity (verbal thinking, memory in all its forms, attention, perception and etc.),
‒ communication skills;
‒ learning skills;
‒ development of a certain level motivation for the further mastery of a foreign language culture
Thus, the level of a foreign language culture acquisition is not directly proportional to the level of «practical» language skills.
As a learning objective, knowing a foreign language culture as a development means of learners’ and students’ personality is offered. Therefore, when it is a matter of such a difficult and complex aim as a foreign language culture, it is clear that achieving it means must be understood comprehensively and enough completely.
One of the problems that is specific to the process of teaching foreign languages and cultures is the insufficient degree of mastering offered teaching material. In addition to the students’ motivation, relevance and attractiveness of the proposed teaching materials, as well as professional and business competence of the teacher plays an important role in this issue.
As a rule, at an early stage the interest of the students is very high, and in this case teacher’s task is to maintain it through the broad involvement of the latest teaching aids and relevant additional material, and also using modern techniques, stimulating interaction between the participants of the educational process.
- Adi, S.S. (2012). Communicative language teaching: Is it appropriate for Indonesian context? Foreign Language Annuals, Retrieved February 27, 2012
- Alexander, L. Practice and Progress. Longman, 1980.
- Biggs, J. (1997). Teaching across and within cultures: The issue of international students in learning and teaching in higher education: Advancing international perspectives. Proceedings of the HERDSA Conference, Adelaide, South Australia.
- Cooper, D. Philosophy and the Nature of Language. London, 1973.
- Chomsky, N. Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. Cambridge, 1965.